Electric car maintenance and cost: everything you need to know

By Kijiji Autos
Electric car maintenance and cost

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As electric cars become more widely available, an increasing number of Canadian drivers are adopting these zero-emissions vehicles. It's true that electric cars can be more expensive upfront than their gas-powered counterparts, but they can also offer long-term savings, and not just at the fuel pump.

You might be wondering just how much it costs to own an electric vehicle. Here are some answers to common questions about maintaining, charging and owning an electric car:

Are electric cars expensive to maintain?

Compared to gas-powered cars, electric cars could be much more affordable to maintain. In fact, most EV drivers could expect to save each year on electric car maintenance compared to the average cost of maintaining a gas-powered car.

Since electric cars have fewer moving parts, there are simply fewer parts to check, service and replace. Plus, life with an electric car is a life free of oil changes, tune-ups and engine knock. That said, an electric car does require some maintenance. You could expect to visit the dealership about once a year or once every 12,000 km to have your tires rotated and a visual inspection completed, and cabin air filters should be changed every two years or every 24,000 km. Ask your dealer about your car's maintenance and service needs.

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

The cost of charging an electric car depends on where and when you charge it. Charging your car at EV charging stations is a quick and easy option, especially when you're on the road, but can be a bit pricy.

Level 3 chargers, also known as fast chargers, can charge your battery to 80% in about 30 to 45 minutes. These pay-per-use EV chargers could cost an average of $15 per hour in Canada. Level 2 chargers, also known as destination chargers, tend to be located at businesses like shopping centres or hotels.

Many level 2 chargers are free to use and pay-per-use ones generally cost around $1.00 to $2.50 per hour. At home, the electric car charging cost will depend on electricity rates in your province or territory. It could cost less to charge overnight thanks to time-of-use rates.

Find out how much it costs to charge the most popular electric cars in Canada and how long it takes to charge an electric car.

What are the hidden costs of owning an electric car?

When you're considering buying an electric car, it can be helpful to think about hidden costs. A big one could be the cost of installing a home charging station. While electric cars can be plugged into a standard household 120-volt outlet, it could be faster and more efficient to use a 240-volt charger.

Getting a Level 2 charging station installed in your home might cost well over $1,000, but some areas offer government rebates to help cover this cost.

Another thing to consider is the effect weather conditions can have on your electric car. Cold weather reduces battery range, requiring more frequent charging, and dusty road conditions may mean your cabin filters will need to be replaced more often.

Also, electric cars may cost less to maintain, but they may depreciate faster than gas-powered ones and offer a lower resale value. This is likely due to their high initial cost. The good news is that drivers planning to buy a used EV can often get a great deal. Interested in purchasing an electric car? Kijiji Autos offers a wide selection of new and used electric vehicles for sale in your area and across Canada.

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